Murphy’s Law and the Five Assumptions of a Crisis in the Marijuana Industry

According to the Edward’s Air Force Base newspaper, Desert Wings, “Murphy’s Law was born at Edwards Air Force Base in 1949 and named after Captain Edward A. Murphy, an engineer working on Air Force Project MX981, (a project) designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person can stand in a crash.”  The article went on to claim that, “One day, after finding that a transducer was wired wrong, Murphy cursed the technician responsible and said, ‘If there is any way to do it wrong, he’ll find it.”  The contract’s project manager kept of list of Captain Murphy’s laws, and claimed this one as number one.

Aside from being an interesting backstory, Murphy’s Laws are essential to the security planning process.  Every threat and vulnerability assessment conducted within the cannabis industry, must take in consideration Captain Murphy’s thought process.  This means that the security team, the crisis management team, as well as the emergency response plan writer, must be objective, realistic, and humble about their goals and capabilities.  More importantly, they should always be ready to answer the question of “What if?” (meaning, “What if this happened?”).

At MJ Security Group, we recognize that “Mr. Murphy” is ever-present and has plenty of relatives lurking in the rapidly-expanding marijuana business.  In fact, it has been our experience that the younger the industry, the more likely the Murphy clan will materialize.  Therefore, at MJ Security Group, we always stress to our clients in the cannabis trade, that there are “5 Assumptions in Any Crisis.”  These assumptions are as follows:

Assumption 1 – The problem is always worse than it appears.  This means that the crisis will usually grow before it shrinks and our people should avoid blowing off initial intelligence as “So what?”

Assumption 2 – There are very few true secrets in the world… assume everyone will eventually find out.  In other words, be cautious of denying something that could come back to bite you later.  Also, think before you speak in a crisis… your emotions could lead you to say something you regret later.

Assumption 3 – You and your handling of a crisis will be portrayed in the worse possible light.  The media is not your friend (and not generally a friend of the marijuana business).  Accept this and defuse them quickly.  Your public message is even more critical in the early stage of a crisis.  Understand that a lack of visibility will be seen as an admission of guilt.

Assumption 4 – There will be changes in processes and people at the end of the crisis.  This simply means that no crisis ends without blood on the floor… somebody will be blamed and made an example of (the exception being the government – where the person at fault will probably be promoted).

Assumption 5 – The organization will survive, ultimately stronger for what happened.  Although it is not a pleasant situation, there is not a crisis you cannot learn from.  If you have the right leadership, your organization should ultimately be stronger in the long run.

Effective security measures and disciplined preparedness are the best way to mitigate the five assumptions of a crisis.  To ensure the safest and most secure cannabis operations, MJ Security Group is committed to becoming the industry leader and recognized subject matter experts for crisis management and emergency response planning.

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